The Guy In The Glass

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Here is a poem that was written and published by Peter “Dale” Wimbrow Sr. (1895-1954) in 1934. Over the years this poem has taken on a life of its own. It is often misquoted, incorrectly written and wrongly attributed but the message remains the same, ‘you can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, but you can’t fool the guy staring back from the glass’.

If you have never read it, please take a minute now to acquaint yourself with this fine work and then take some more time to ponder it. If you have read it before, you too should take a moment to read and ponder it again. It is as true today as the day it was written.

The Guy In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

– Dale Wimbrow (1934)

If you’d like to know more about this poem visit